bootstrap.dat allows a new Fastcoin client (not synced) to rapidly import the initial blocks from a local file instead of slowly downloading blocks from random peers. This significantly reduces the time it takes to get a client synced with the current blockchain.
Simply having bootstrap.dat in Fastcoin's expected data directory will make your initial block sync much faster. The import process can be even faster if you use the -dbcache=1000 command line parameter which uses an additional 1GB of RAM for the database index cache.
Extracting the bootstrap.dat.xz
Regardless of your operating system, use the following steps to make use of the bootstrap.dat file:
1. Download bootstrap.dat.xz from mirrors or torrent.
2. Decompress the bootstrap.dat.
3. Put it into the Fastcoin datadir. "%appdata%/fastcoin" / "~/.fastcoin"
(This is the same folder that contains wallet.dat and the blocks folder.)
4. Delete bootstrap.dat.old if you want to recover some storage space.
Fastcoin Data Folder
xz -d bootstrap.dat.xz
Fastcoin's data directory is located in ~/.fastcoin/ by default. You can run ls -a to see directories that start with a period. You can also search for the directory with the following
find / -name wallet.dat -print 2>/dev/null
You can obtain xz from MacPorts or http://macpkg.sourceforge.net/.
Fastcoin's data directory should be located in ~/Library/Application Support/Fastcoin/.
7Zip is a free utility that can decompress .xz files, so does the latest version of WinRAR.
Click on Start then Run (or press WinKey+R) and type:
Fastcoin's data directory will open. "AppData" and "Application Data" are hidden by default in Windows.
Copy bootstrap.dat to data directory
Copy the bootstrap.dat to your data directory. Load the Fastcoin client and wait for it to load the blocks. After loading is complete, the bootstrap.dat will be renamed to bootstrap.dat.old at which point you can choose to delete it.